He lived violently in his own, quiet way.
He seldom drank, but then heavily. He rarely loved, but then desperately. He never hoped, save once, foolishly.
And on this day he decided he was done living.
How he had arrived here, he didn’t really question. The picture of a drain emptying, a figure in a canoe paddling against the spiraling current, flashed through his mind. There was the accumulated fatigue of a struggle against the inevitable, the last gasp with the canoe suspended for the briefest of moments above the abyss, and finally the plunge.
He hoped it would feel like going home.
He thought then of their last, soon to be final, conversation.
He had sat in the same wooden chair, feet flat on the ground. His figure hunched over, elbows perched on knees. His left hand fell between his legs, and his right had held the phone to his ear. His eyes fixated on the square foot between his heels.
He took deep breaths, shoulders rising, then falling with each.
“Your silence sounds like acquiescence.”
Shoulders up, shoulders down.
“So that’s it?”
“I guess so.”
“Can you not sigh like that, please?”
“Whatever you call it, it’s depressing me.”
“Well, we wouldn’t want that.”
“I’m going to hang up now.”
“That’s probably a good idea.” Click.
He had sat for a while longer, the phone held to his ear, still hunched. Finally, convinced the call had, in fact, ended, he had sat up, lowering the phone into his lap.
Nonlinearity playing out on the grandest, gravest scale. There was nothing for it but to give in, give up.
Shoulders up. Shoulders down.
One last time.